Posted October 10, 2012 on
AP on Fox
The Pittsburgh Steelers may have picked the right place to start winning on the road when they visit the punchless Tennessee Titans on Thursday night.
The Steelers (2-2) have two home wins and two road losses, and with running back Rashard Mendenhall back in the lineup to complement Ben Roethlisberger, they hope to pound away at a defense that has allowed more points than any other team in the league.
''If we are going to be a competitive type of team, the type of team we aspire to be, you have to go into hostile environments and do the job,'' Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said. ''We haven't done that. Thursday night in Nashville, we anticipate it to be hostile. We anticipate a certain level of urgency coming from these guys.''
Urgency may be putting it mildly. The Titans (1-4) come into the game off a 30-7 loss to the Minnesota Vikings, a game in which quarterback Matt Hasselbeck was ineffective replacing the injured Jake Locker and Chris Johnson was held in check with 24 yards on 15 rushes.
Even with safety Troy Polamalu missing his third game with a strained right calf and linebacker LaMarr Woodley possibly out with a strained right hamstring, the Steelers are looking to begin a winning streak.
''We've just got to play good football,'' Steelers defensive back Ike Taylor said. ''We're 0-2 on the road, that's what the resume says about our 2012 season.''
Ryan Mundy is expected to replace Polamalu again, though Will Allen might get more playing time. Linebacker James Harrison returned last week from a left knee injury. And through the injuries, the Steelers are still fifth in the NFL, allowing 280 yards a game.
The Titans, meanwhile, are 30th in rushing at 65.4 yards a game, and Johnson added to his struggles by losing a fumble in last week's loss. The former 2,000-yard rusher is averaging all of 2.9 yards per carry with 210 yards and no touchdowns.
Hasselbeck is starting his second straight game with Locker sidelined with a dislocated left shoulder. The good news is receiver Kenny Britt is healthy, and has practiced the past couple days. He is returning from a torn right knee ligament last season followed by a sprained left ankle last month.
The Titans are ready to get back on the field early after last week's loss.
''Having no time to really harp on all the stuff the last couple weeks, it's good,'' Titans left tackle Michael Roos said. ''It's going to be a physical fight. Everyone here's played against them before in the offensive line. You know what's coming. Just get ready for it.''
The Steelers have dominated this series between the former AFC Central rivals, winning three straight and six of their last nine with Tennessee.
Having Mendenhall back after a knee injury in January should help. He debuted against Philadelphia and averaged 5.8 yards a carry.
Roethlisberger has thrown for 1,111 yards with eight touchdowns and only one interception, and he has been fine on the road, too, with six TD passes and his only interception. Roethlisberger is a big reason the Steelers convert an NFL-best 53.2 percent of their third downs, and now he gets to face a defense giving up an NFL-worst 36.2 points per game.
''I don't think that their defense is an indication of their record,'' Roethlisberger said. ''I think they're a lot better than that. We have to prepare accordingly, because I think they are a good defense.''
The Titans have gotten little help from the offense. Tennessee trailed 14-7 at halftime before losing 38-14 in Houston, and 13-0 at halftime in Minnesota.
''It all comes down to one simple thing,'' Johnson said. ''We're not making plays. We're not staying on the field, not sustaining drives. And at the end of the day, no matter how good our defense does ... they can't keep going out there and making plays when we keep leaving them on the field like that. We have to do our job as an offense.''
The Steelers routed Tennessee 38-17 last season in Pittsburgh and forced seven turnovers in their last trip to Nashville in a win in 2010.
Titans coach Mike Munchak said he knows from experience the Steelers likely will have 30,000 fans in the stands. Needing a win playing Pittsburgh is never easy.
''It's been a couple of weeks, and it's been two long weeks,'' Munchak said. ''Hopefully this week will change that.''
Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL
Follow Teresa M. Walker on Twitter: http://twitter.com/teresamwalker
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
Elias Sports Bureau has made an official scoring change on Wednesday and has now credited Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger as throwing a 13 yard touchdown pass to running back Rashard Mendenhall in the game against the Philadelphia Eagles after it was originally scored a lateral.The official stat change now means Roethlisberger has 9 touchdown passes on the season...
Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers have had a rough start to the season. They lost to Peyton Manning and, what turns out to be, a weak Broncos team. They also lost to the Raiders, come on, it's the Raiders. They beat, a terrible Jets team and squeezed out a win against the Eagles last week. The early bye doesn't do anything for an aging defense that could have used a...
The 13 yard touchdown that Pittsburgh Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall scored in the win over the Philadelphia Eagles was officially scored as a run and not a pass from quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.The official scorer viewed the pass from Roethlisberger as being a lateral and I have had a few request to take a closer look at the play. Obviously this play could make the...
Steelers RB Rashard Mendenhall Suffers Achillies Injury, Exits Game Early -
Steelers RB Rashard Mendenhall left Thursday night’s game against the Titans with an Achilles’ injury. Mendenhall rushed for six yards on six carries before leaving. The Achilles’ issue could be directly related to Mendenhall’s quick return from ACL surgery. It’s not uncommon for runners to suffer...
There will be no official passing of the torch in Pittsburgh. It’s a shame really as current Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is only 300 yards away from breaking Terry Bradshaw’s record for most passing yards in team history which currently stands at 27,989. To say that in the past Bradshaw and Roethlisberger have entertained a frosty relationship is an understatement...
I shared this Tuesday on the social network sites and had a request to post it here as well.The Pittsburgh Steelers ran for 136 yards Sunday in their win over the Philadelphia Eagles, but the biggest run of the game may very well have been the 8 yard scamper on first down around right end by running back Rashard Mendenhall with 1:53 left in the game.Those 8 yards put the ball at...
Season 3, Episode 27 of The Terrible Podcast is up and co-host David Todd and I start the show off by talking about the stat change that was made on Wednesday that resulted in Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger now being credited for a touchdown pass to running back Rashard Mendenhall in the game against the Philadelphia Eagles. I broke this play down a few days ago...
The Pittsburgh Steelers' injury-plagued season got a little worse Thursday night.Running backs Rashard Mendenhall, Isaac Redman, linebacker Chris Carter, center Maurkice Pouncey and offensive tackle Marcus Gilbert were the latest Steelers to be be injured this season during the 26-23 loss to the Tennessee Titans.Mendenhall left the game in the third quarter with an Achilles injury...
Eli Manning didn't get dirty and Ben Roethlisberger never went down against the Eagles the past two weeks.
Playing quarterback seems like a safe job for Philadelphia's opponents.
Those ferocious pass rushers aren't producing sacks the way they're used to, but the Eagles (3-2) are getting results on the scoreboard anyway.
''The bottom line for our defense...
Below are the offensive player play counts and participation chart for the Pittsburgh Steelers week 5 game against the Philadelphia Eagles.Player Notes:With Rashard Mendenhall back from injury, Jonathan Dwyer, as expected, was inactive. In addition, Baron Batch never saw the field on offense. Rookie tight end David Paulson saw extensive playing time at the expense of Leonard Pope...
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="450"] Will RG3 play in week 6 against the Vikings and if so what will his value be this week?[/caption]You have come to the right place for comprehensive week six QB rankings, including the latest analysis of RG3, Ben Roethlisberger, and Michael Vick. This column will help you, whether you selected your QB at...
Will Allen. Rashard Mendenhall. Isaac Redman. Marcus Gilbert Mauikice Pouncey. Ramon Foster. Ryan Clark.
The Steelers list of injuries was long, but there was no excuse to lose this game. Mike Tomlin elected to go for a 54 yard field goal with 48 seconds left, handing the Titans the ball with great field position and plenty of time to move down the field. Jared Cook easilly beat...
Pittsburgh Steelers (2-2) at Tennessee Titans (1-4)Thursday, 8:00 ET, NFL Network, Brad Nessler, Mike Mayock, Alex Flanagan Last Meeting: The Steelers jumped out to a 21-3 lead and rocked the Titans, 38-17, on Oct. 9, 2011. Pittsburgh rode five Ben Roethlisberger touchdown passes, and improved to 3-2. Streaking: Roethlisberger leads the NFL with a passer rating of 132.6 in the...
The Steelers are hoping the referees keep their flags tucked inside their pockets on Thursday night when Pittsburgh visits Tennessee.
The Steelers (2-2) lead the NFL with 37 penalties for 346 yards through the first month of the season and are on pace to shatter team records in both categories. Coach Mike Tomlin says his team needs to be smarter and more disciplined, particularly...
The Pittsburgh Steelers are back at .500, but injuries on defense continue to be a concern even with a potentially favorable prime time matchup ahead.
Trying to win two in a row for the first time this season, the banged-up Steelers look for a fourth consecutive victory over the struggling Tennessee Titans on Thursday night in Nashville.
Coming off its bye week, Pittsburgh (2-2...